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April 2016 OPA Extern Profile: Jacob Schaurer

Jacob SchaurerTaylor Reed


Pharmacy School: The Ohio State University

Undergraduate degree/institution: BS Chemistry/The Ohio State University

Rotation Month at OPA: April 2016

How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?

Upon completion of my degree in chemistry at The Ohio State University, I was unsure how to combine science with the enjoyment I got from working with others. With both of my parents being retired teachers, I started to explore graduate school programs with a focus on education. At this same time, however, I had a friend graduating from University of Toledo College of Pharmacy, and she directed me to look into pharmacy. The profession offered a way to utilize every aspect of my knowledge base with the added benefit of patient interaction. Observing pharmacists, I saw a profession that was genuinely interested in helping patients understand their health. After completing almost four years at pharmacy school, I have still found that to be true. Pharmacy was and is a perfect fit for me, and I look forward to serving patients in the Columbus community.

Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?

That first year of pharmacy school I joined every student organization available through the college. While each had their own unique place in pharmacy practice, I found advocacy to be a core characteristic uniting them. I made it a point to attend sessions dedicated to advocacy including OPA's Leadership and Advocacy Nights, Student Legislative Days, and Pints and Policies. Along the way I got to meet Ernie Boyd, Antonio Ciaccia, and Senator Burke, and learned more about how they help shape what we as pharmacists can do. From these interactions, a passion was instilled for pharmacy advocacy that I knew I wanted to pursue with APPE experience. I wanted to learn not only what I could do individually to help advance the practice of pharmacy, but also what OPA does to influence change in the profession as a whole.

What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?

Attending hearings at the Statehouse proved to be the most significant and surprising experience in my time with OPA. I say that it was the most significant due to how surprised I was by how little the legislature understood about the daily workings of a pharmacy. For example, in a Health and Aging Committee hearing on a bill focused on allowing pharmacists to automatically substitute interchangeable biologics, members were confused on even the process involved in switching name brand products to generic products, something that happens hundreds of times a day in today’s pharmacy practice. I thought back to all of the times our instructors stressed the importance of advocacy; it is easy to think that someone else is taking care of it. Listening to some of the questions raised in these hearings, however, I quickly realized that the same people holding power in deciding what I as a pharmacist can do have no shared understanding of what pharmacists currently do. If for no other reason, that experience alone showed me the true importance of advocacy.

What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?

NPhA/SNPhA, ASHP/OSHP/SSHP, APhA, Phi Lambda Sigma, Rho Chi, and Kappa Psi


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